By Alice Bafiala Mutombo; Edited by Katie Hackett
François, 53, is married and the father of five kids. The dad makes his living as a farmer, but for the past few years he’s been raising rabbits on the side to increase the family income.
"I do like this breeding,” he says. “Rabbits reproduce and grow properly when we respect [the right] practices.”
About five years ago, François received a pair of breeding rabbits, a rabbit hutch and five kilograms of food from World Vision. Since then he reports that he’s produced nine litters of rabbits, between four and eight babies each time.
"The first time I sold a rabbit it was for $10, but I later learned that I could sell for more than $20,” he says. “The money I earn allows me to [pay for] my children's school.”
In the past his kids were forced to drop out when there wasn’t enough money, but now all four school-age children are completing their studies.
Aside from the economic benefits, World Vision introduced rabbit farming into the community as a way to provide a more affordable source of protein for families.
"I really want to continue my breeding because the multiplier effect of rabbits is very encouraging," says François.
World Vision staff member Martin Joshua Mukenge says that for diligent breeders like François, the results have been good.
“[Families] can meet their needs and also regularly consume fresh meat, which was not the case before in this community," he reports.
As others see the benefits and convenience of raising rabbits, the idea is gaining popularity in the community.
"They realize that this type of breeding is less demanding,” says Martin. “And today, everyone wants to raise rabbits.”
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